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A novel widely tunable laser diode is proposed and demonstrated. Mode selection occurs by etching perturbing slots into the laser ridge. A two-section device is realized with different slot patterns in each section allowing Vernier tuning. The laser operates at 1.3 mum and achieves a maximum output power of 10 mW. A discontinuous tuning range of 30 nm was achieved with a side mode suppression greater than 30 dB. Wavelength switching times of approximately 1.5 ns between a number of wavelength channels separated by 7 nm have been demonstrated.